Music Made From Memories Charles Ives' Holiday Symphony

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If more of this and other kinds of ear stretching had gone on, if the ears and minds had been used more and harder, there might have been less 'arrested development' among nice Yale graduates …

 

With his music so widely misunderstood, Ives was forced to expend a good deal of ink arguing that the fault lay in his listeners not in his music:

ives
Charles Ives

Dear Sirs and Nice Ladies: The following statement is made, not because it’s important to anything or anybody, but because there are ‘lilies’ taking money from newspapers and other things, whose ears and brains are somewhat emasculated from disuse. They have ears, because you can see them—they may he brains, but you can’t see them (in anything they write). Every so often, an article or a clipping or a ‘verbal message’ is sent to a man which shows that Rollo has a job, writing his opinion about things the facts of which he doesn’t know and doesn’t try to know—or about music he doesn’t hear or try to know. If he can’t hear and doesn’t know it, he’s a mental-musico-defective (from his neck up)—if he doesn‘t try to hear and knows he doesn’t know, then he is getting money under false pretenses! In other words, these commercial pansies are either stupid or they are liars (mean word, but put there after careful consideration). —West Redding, Conn., August 10th, 1931


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Anonymous
October 25, 2009

A brilliant composer, decades ahead of his time, and yet not fully appreciated during his own. Such are the life and reward of artist genius.

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